A long-running negligence lawsuit over severe injuries at the Wagga Show has resulted in the unsuccessful plaintiff facing additional costs.
The plaintiff, Kerrie Anne Menz, had sought almost $637,000 in compensation for multiple traumatic brain injuries and loss of income after she was "crushed by a horse" in September 2012 while preparing to ride in the Wagga Show.
The lawsuit was dismissed by the NSW Supreme Court in May, with costs awarded to the defendant due to Ms Menz signing a liability waiver before taking part in the show and it was "common knowledge" that "risk of serious injury...is continually present" in horse riding.
The case returned to court last week as Wagga Show Society's solicitors, Mason Black Lawyers, sought additional costs due to the defendant making an 'offer of compromise' to end the lawsuit on three occasions between March 2016 and May 2018.
Justice Geoffrey Bellew stated there was "nothing preventing the plaintiff from giving proper consideration to each of the offers at the time they were made".
Justice Bellew awarded costs to Wagga Show Society on an "indemnity basis from March 30, 2016 onwards", allowing the defendant to claim additional expenses.
The defendant's offer was for no compensation with each party paying their own costs and the second offer, in April last year, was to pay Ms Menz "$600,000 plus costs".
The third offer came about a month later and was to pay Ms Menz "$637,500 plus costs" and was "open for a period of 28 days from the date of receipt".
Ms Menz solicitors, Commins Hendriks, argued that their client "had not been able to properly consider her position in relation to the offer" and the defendant had "repeatedly failed" to provide the court with proposed "expert evidence as to liability".
"The plaintiff was entitled to (and did) assume that such evidence could not be obtained and would not be served," Commins Hendriks submitted to the court.